Clear Creek Canyon Park

Red triangle with a exclamation point in the center, signifying that a trail is closed
  1. CLOSED: Portions of Clear Creek Canyon Park are closed to all public use uphill of US Highway 6 from February 1 through July 31 to protect raptor nesting territory. These portions include areas near Mile Marker 270 and Tunnel 2, including the following rock climbing sites: 
    Bumbling Stock, Stumbling Block, Skinny Legs, Blonde Formation, Ghost Crag, Highlander, Evil Area, and Tetanus Garden. The Fault Caves are also included in this closure.
    Check news release for additional seasonal wildlife closures.
Seasonal Closure Clear Creek Canyon MM 270 Map
Seasonal Closure Clear Creek Canyon MM 266 Map

Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park Open

Jefferson County Open Space is happy to finally announce the completion and opening of the Gateway Segment to Clear Creek Canyon Park as of August 25, following a 4 P.M. “cable cutting” ceremony.

This 1.75-mile trail connects with downtown Golden along Clear Creek and continues west to Tunnel 1 along US 6. The two new trailheads – one at the entrance to the canyon and one near Tunnel 1 – feature more than 170 parking spaces, permanent restrooms, and shade structures. The parking area at the Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park has the added features of a bike repair station, a bike rack with metal frame crafted from the parts of cars retrieved from the canyon during construction, and a drinking fountain that includes a ground-level fountain for four-legged hiking companions.  

This project also includes the first suspension bridge in Jefferson County. This pedestrian-only crossing of Clear Creek near Tunnel 1 connects hikers with the restored wooden flume of the Welch Ditch on the south side of the creek. Water access is also improved with rock staircases along the trail. This Gateway Segment – part of the Peaks to Plains Trail – honors the area’s mining history with materials and treatments like stained concrete and bridge railings that are designed to help the trail blend in with the canyon.

The trail will be open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, with electronic gates at both parking facilities closing at those times to prohibit overnight parking. 

Trail lined with restored wooden flume next to mellow river and a golden bridge in the distance
Park visitors walking along the paved Gateway  trailhead.

Clear Creek Canyon Park offers unique recreation experiences among its steep canyon walls and fast flowing creek. With the opening of a segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail, bicycles are allowed in the canyon for the first time. Use caution when accessing the creek and engaging in high-risk activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and rafting. Anglers must carry a valid Colorado fishing license with habitat stamp. Gold prospectors must adhere to Open Space Regulations.

Clear Creek Trail*

The Clear Creek Trail is a concrete path along Clear Creek connecting the City of Golden with the City of Wheat Ridge. View Clear Creek Trail Map

Gateway Trailhead
21100 US Highway 6 
Golden, CO 80403

Tunnel 1 Trailhead
22122 US Highway 6 
Golden, CO 

Big Easy Trailhead
32088 US Highway 6
Golden, CO 80403

Mayhem Gulch Trailhead
32447 US Highway 6
Golden, CO 80403

Cannonball Flats Access
33708 US Highway 6
Golden, CO 80403


Park Regulations

Recreation & Activity Management Guide

Jeffco Non-emergency Number: 303.980.7300

Clear Creek Canyon Park, Gateway Segment to Huntsman Gulch map with next segment to be constructed

Jefferson County Open Space is continuing work on the next segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail, expanding Clear Creek Canyon Park access. The next segment will connect Tunnel 1 to Huntsman Gulch with almost three miles of new trail! This project will also include two new trailheads, additional bridges spanning Clear Creek, and multiple creek access points.

Construction should begin Spring 2022 and the project will hopefully open in early 2025.

Check out the next Peaks to Plains Trail segment from Gateway to Huntsman Gulch.

Peaks to Plains Trail*

The vision of the Peaks to Plains Trail is a 65-mile trail of statewide significance that will serve the 3 million residents of the Denver metro area. The goal is that the Peaks to Plains Trail will one day connect the South Platte Trail in Denver to the headwaters of Clear Creek at Loveland Pass. Once completed, it will connect four counties and seven cities, with a total elevation gain of more than 1 mile. The first portions of the Peaks to Plains Trail in Clear Creek Canyon Park opened in 2016 and 2017, offering four miles of 10-foot-wide paved surface right along Clear Creek. The next step will be continuing the trail east to Golden with the Mouth of the Canyon segment. Learn more about the Peaks to Plains Trail. View the Peaks to Plains Trail Map

*Notice: This trail crosses multiple jurisdictions beyond land owned/managed by Jeffco Open Space and may fall under different regulations.

Prospecting is prohibited in some areas at the Big Easy Trailhead. See posted signs.

  • Digging into or destruction of stable shoreline, banks or existing vegetation is not permitted
  • All prospecting holes must be filled in before leaving site
  • Dredges and equipment may not be left overnight
  • No prospecting within 100 feet of structures including bridges, steps and
    fish habitat improvements
  • Only dredges with a nozzle diameter of four inches or fewer are permitted
  • No dripping or leaking of fuel or oil allowed
Prospecting rules and prohibited actions
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